Based at: University College London (UCL)
Supervisors: Dr Jessica Sheringham – Senior Research Fellow, Dept Applied Health Research, UCL and CLAHRC North Thames; Dr Manuel Gomes – Associate Professor of Health Economics Dept Applied Health Research, UCL; Prof David Osborn, Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology, Division of Psychiatry, UCL (tertiary supervisor); Dr Helen McDonald, Honorary Research Fellow, LHSTM (tertiary supervisor); Sue Hogarth, Assistant Director of Public Health, London Boroughs of Camden and Islington (tertiary supervisor)
Project title: Investigating the value of linking health and council records of Local Authority residents to advance our understanding of the social determinants of multimorbidity and inform service provision
Project summary: As local areas move towards creating integrated care systems, a more holistic understanding or health and care needs is required. In order to facilitate this understanding, several projects are linking the health and council records of Local Authority residents. This PhD builds on a data infrastructure developed as a result of a Health Foundation-funded project – an anonymised dataset of Islington Council residents with council data linked at the household level to health data.
Integrated care approaches hold huge potential to improve the care of people with multimorbidity – broadly known as the co-occurrence of multiple long-term conditions – as patients with multimorbidity typically access multiple health and care services across the system. Multimorbidity is a major public health challenge. To date, research typically considers multimorbidity in a biomedical sense even though social factors influence its extent and nature.
This PhD aims to investigate the value of linking health and council records of Local Authority residents to:
a) Advance our understanding of the social determinants of multimorbidity, and;
b) Inform how senior leaders make decisions that have implications across the health and care system
Practice engagement: In this project I have been working closely with Camden and Islington’s Public Health Department, with the Assistant Director of Public Health for Islington as one of my tertiary supervisors. They have been involved in planning this PhD and they will remain involved throughout the project. I intend to complete a formal placement with the department next year.
Public engagement: The NIHR CLAHRC North Thames have a Research Advisory Panel, which is a group of patients, carers and members of the public interested in research. My work is building on the public involvement and engagement work that has already been done within this project –the public involvement and engagement strategy has been previously tested out with the Research Advisory Panel. To date, I have presented my research plans to the panel and received valuable feedback that has shaped my research. The panel will continue to be involved in the design of this project and at later stages of my PhD.